Venture Partners

  • Fred Goldwater

    Venture Partner

    Fred Goldwater

    Fred Goldwater provides strategic advisory services and executive support to companies serving the healthcare market. He has more than 35 years of executive management experience in manufacturing, financial services, healthcare and an extensive background in business development (including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and large-scale project development/implementations), operations, information systems, marketing and product development. He was recently COO of Community Care of North Carolina Services Inc., the for profit subsidiary of CCNC, a Medicaid population health management company.  He served as CEO of RealMed, a revenue cycle management company providing services to providers and payers and managed its sale to Availity. Recent consulting assignments include BCBSNC, Cain Brothers, CivaTech, Clinverse, FastMed, LipoScience, Medikidz, NC HIE and Techosoft.

    At the end of 2007, Fred retired from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. He had various responsibilities during his tenure including SVP of Strategic Development and CIO, SVP of Operations which included segment responsibilities for self-insured, government and senior markets.

    Prior to Blue Cross and Blue Shield, he was employed with Providian (formerly Capital Holding Corporation) and MeadWestvaco. Fred earned an MBA from Pace University in New York and an undergraduate degree from Babson College in Massachusetts.

    Community and Board Engagements:

    Fred currently serves as a board observer and strategic advisor to i2i Population Health and is on the Board of the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle.

  • Holden Thorp

    Venture Partner

    Holden Thorp

    Holden Thorp is Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis where he is also Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor and holds appointments in both chemistry and medicine.

    Thorp joined WashU after spending three decades at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he served as the 10th chancellor from 2008 through 2013.

    Thorp started at UNC as an undergraduate student and earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry with highest honors in 1986. He earned a doctorate in chemistry in 1989 at the California Institute of Technology and completed post-doctoral work at Yale University.

    In his research career, Thorp developed technology for electronic DNA chips and co-founded Viamet Pharmaceuticals, which is commercializing new drugs for fungal disease and developed the prostate cancer assets that are now being commercialized by Innocrin Pharmaceuticals.

    Community and Board Engagements:

    Thorp is currently a member of the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, the Board of Trustees of the National Humanities Center, the Board of Trustees of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and the Board of Directors of Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

  • Myla Lai-Goldman, MD

    Venture Partner

    Myla Lai-Goldman, MD

    Dr. Myla Lai-Goldman has over 20 years experience in the development, commercialization and adoption of novel molecular diagnostic assays. In 2011, with Drs. Chuck Perou and Neil Hayes of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she co-founded GeneCentric Diagnostics, a Hatteras Fund III company, whose initial product, the Lung Subtype Platform (LSPTM) enables oncologists make more informed treatment decisions for their lung cancer patients.

    Until her retirement on December 31, 2008, Myla was Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer of Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (LabCorp®), where she managed LabCorp’s National Office of Quality and Science, through which she was responsible for all quality, science and medical activities for LabCorp and its subsidiaries. From 1998 until April 2008, Myla also served as Chief Scientific Officer of the company, where she was responsible for R & D. Until 2006, she managed the operations of the Company’s Center for Molecular Biology and Pathology in Research Triangle Park, NC; National Genetics Institute, Inc. in Los Angeles, CA; and ViroMed Laboratories, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN. Additionally, she held the position of Medical Director for the Center for Molecular Biology and Pathology from 1991 to 2005. Myla joined the Company in 1990.

    Myla earned an MD from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York, and completed postgraduate training in Internal Medicine at St Luke’s Hospital in New York, anatomic and clinical pathology at the UCLA Center for Health Sciences, and hematopathology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is board-certified in anatomic and clinical pathology.

    Community and Board Engagements:

    Myla serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for The Medical Foundation of North Carolina. Myla also serves on the Board of Directors of Sequenom.

  • Robert Morff, PhD

    Venture Partner

    Robert Morff, PhD

    Bob has deep experience in medical devices and diagnostics product and business development. Having already served as interim CEO of Pathfinder, he is now a director there. Bob also serves as a director at Histosonics. He was VP and CSO of the Wallace Coulter Foundation, Principal at Senmed Medical Ventures, and Senior Research Scientist in Eli Lilly’s Medical Device and Diagnostics Division. He has founded and led several companies in the microfluidics, stem cell, and tissue engineering areas.

    When Bob was with Eli Lilly’s Medical Devices and Diagnostics Division, he led the research teams that developed the first commercially available continuous glucose monitor and the first closed-loop drug delivery pump.

    Bob graduated from the University of Missouri with a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering, and a Ph.D. in medical physiology.

    Community and Board Engagements:

    Bob remains engaged with the Coulter Foundation, where he serves on the Oversight Committee for biomedical engineering grants. He is an advisor/mentor for the Kauffman Foundation’s PIPELINE entrepreneurs program, and also serves on review and advisory committees for a number of universities, including the University of Missouri, Duke University, the University of North Carolina, Vanderbilt University, MUSC, and the University of Miami.

  • June Almenoff, MD, PhD


    June Almenoff, MD, PHD

    June S. Almenoff, M.D., Ph.D. most recently served as president, principal executive officer and chief medical officer of Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from its inception in 2010 through its acquisition by Forest/Actavis for up to $1.46 B in 2014.  She served as Furiex’s most senior executive officer, responsible for attaining all strategic and financial goals and was a member of the Board of Directors.  During her tenure, the company progressed eluxadoline for diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome through successful Phase II, III trials and NDA filing, resulting in FDA approval in 2015.

    Dr. Almenoff joined Furiex after a successful 12-year career at GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”). She was vice president in the clinical safety organization, where she served on the company’s senior governing medical boards and managed a diverse therapeutic portfolio supporting numerous regulatory approvals. Also during her tenure at GSK, she worked in the area of scientific licensing, leading the R&D diligence process for the acquisition of Stiefel Laboratories and establishing a licensing program for a drug development unit.   Dr. Almenoff led several GSK teams that developed pioneering systems for minimizing risk in early- and late-stage drug development; these have been widely implemented by pharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies.  Their impact on the industry has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award and several other prestigious awards. Dr. Almenoff also chaired a Pharma-FDA working group and was the lead author on its influential position paper.

    Prior to joining GSK, Dr. Almenoff was on the faculty of Duke University Medical Center, where she is currently a Consulting Professor of Medicine.  Dr. Almenoff earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Smith College. She graduated AWA from the M.D.-Ph.D. program at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Stanford University Medical Center. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians with 10 years of clinical practice experience and is an author on more than 50 publications.

    Community and Board Engagements:

    Dr. Almenoff serves on the Boards of Ohr Pharmaceutical (OHRP: Nasdaq) and the NC Council for Entrepreneurial Development.